Christian McCaffrey expected to spend his career in Carolina, playing for the Panthers after they drafted him with the eighth overall choice in 2017. McCaffrey didn’t expect the Panthers to trade him, especially after receiving reassurance from General Manager Scott Fitterer.
McCaffrey said Fitterer told him he would “absolutely not” be traded.
After six games, though, the Panthers sent him to the 49ers.
“It’s a weird deal because there’s so many emotions, and the first emotion is probably anger,” McCaffrey recently said on the Bussin’ with the Boys podcast, via Michael Gallagher of YardBarker. “Like, you guys don’t want me anymore? That’s really what it is. ‘Well, they got a lot for you.’ Nah, like you think you’re better off without me; that’s what it is. You’re pissed off, but then you’re excited.
“There’s so many emotions that get flooded at you at once. . . . I don’t know if I’ve fully decompressed yet from the whole thing.”
The Panthers received second-, third- and fourth-round selections in return for McCaffrey and a fifth-rounder in 2024.
McCaffrey totaled 1,210 yards of offense and 10 total touchdowns after the trade, bringing his season total to 1,880 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns.
McCaffrey, 26, is signed through the 2025 season. His scheduled salary cap hit is about $12 million in each of the upcoming three seasons.